Niche Site U Episode #17: Getting More Niche Site Traffic With Less in 2014

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The Niche Site U Podcast

Niche Site Traffic

In the 17th episode of the Niche Site U Podcast, I discuss things you should do less of to get more traffic to your niche websites in 2014

Things To do Less of:

Keywords

o   No keyword stuffing into your titles.

o   No more stuffing keywords into your meta data.

o   No keyword focused pages to trick google

o   No more keywords in your footer links or other site wide anchors.

  • Link Building

o   No more Spammy sites just for link building

o   No more guest posting just for the sake of it

    • Sites need to be quality
    • Don’t use My blog guest

o   No more public link exchanges

o   Most directories are dead!

o   Article submission sites are dead too

o   Link wheels are getting caught… so be careful with these.

o   Irrelevant links are bad

o   So are site wide links

o   No more Social bookmarking

o   Limit your anchor text.  Better off using your name, or website address these days.

  • Content

o   No more short articles.  500 word articles get less.  Use them for entertainment of your audience… not for SEO. Go for 2k or 3k words for SEO

o   Images need to be optimized now.  Alt text and image file names are a good place for relevant keywords.

o   This has been dead for years, but don’t use invisible text either!

o   Randomly linking to your old content just to have links.  Make sure it is relevant.

So what should you be doing?

Content Marketing

o   Quality matters.  The game has changed on how google ranks sites, and much of it is now based on user engagement with your site.  Make sure the content you deliver is engaging and share worthy.

o   Get Social.  Im not a huge fan of useless updates on social media pages… so I honestly don’t do as much as I should.  But if you want to have success in 2014, you need to get social.

o   You must “Market” your content.   Don’t just write it and forget about it.

  • Tweet about your post
  • Post a link and image on Google Plus
    • Join relevant communities there
  • Post a link and image on FB
  • Post a link on your Linked In profile
  • Grab an image and post on image sharing sites like pinterest.
  • Depending on content… share on Stumble upon, reddit and tumblr
  • Send an email to friends, family and your list about the post.
  • Go back in your archives and find relevant posts… and then link to the new post from them.
  • Be Creative

o   Find creative ways to build links

  • Outreach to relevant sites
  • Broken Link Building
  • Guest posting on relevant sites
  • Donate to charities that offer links
  • Infographics (still work…)

o   Find out what content your users want

    • Use polls
    • Ask questions at the end of each post

o   Try other media methods

    • Podcasting
    • Video Blogging

o   Pretend Google doesn’t exist (gulp, the horror of that thought)

  • Improve your site everyday

o   Fix coding issues

o   Eliminate pages with no value

o   Add content to thin pages

o   Improve load times

o   Add value

6 Reasons Your View On Sterling Is Dead Wrong!

First off, let me be very clear. There is no place for hate in this world!!  I’m also glad they kicked Sterling out of the NBA.

In the movie World War Z, they discuss a 10th man scenario for decision making.  It is very interesting.  It states that if 9 people agree on something, it is the job of the 10th man to choose the other side.  I LOVE THIS, and try to do it all the time.  That is the view I am taking here… in an effort to stir up some controversy 🙂

(Photo by Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE via Getty Images)

(Photo by Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE via Getty Images)

That said, here are a few reasons why I think the media (and the NBA) are handling this absolutely the wrong way!!

1. Media talking to the wrong people!!

Why the F&*# should I care what Doc Rivers, Chris Paul, or any other MULTI MILLIONAIRE employee of this guy has to say?  The media is talking to the wrong people.  Why isn’t the media interviewing the staff that takes tickets, sells programs, cleans the building, or any number of the low paid employees.

I mean really… is it that horrible for these guys? They get paid $5 million a year or more, and the only time they see Sterling is when he is ROOTING for them to do their jobs to the best of their abilities?

Stop your crying coaches and players!! You are EXTREMELY well compensated and MOST of the minorities in America would happily go to work for Mr. Sterling tomorrow for your salaries!!

I know I would!  Would you be willing to accept 5 million a year to work for him?

2. Has anyone realized who is girlfriend is?

Again, I feel his statements are extremely inappropriate and wrong, but he can’t hate minorities that much if he was dating one, right??

Have you actually listened to the audio tape?  She is clearly trying to get him to talk about it… and even has other people walking around the house while she does it!  He asks her repeatedly in the tape to stop talking about it.

And why the hell is she recording this again?  It would seem to me she had an agenda from the start!

Again… as I can’t stress this enough, there is still no excuse for his hatred, but it is his right to not like people… even if it is wrong.

Oh yeah, and she was also being sued by the Sterling family I think.

I don’t know the answer… are you allowed to record people without them knowing?  With the NBA using this recording as grounds for ban… will they face a lawsuit?

3. What about all the NAACP awards?

Did you know he was set to get the 2014 Humanitarian Award from the LA chapter of the NAACP?? 

He was also given a Humanitarian Award in 2008 and a President’s Award in 2009.  

The LA chapter is not going to honor him with the 2014 award… but isn’t rescinding the other two awards!!  

Last time I checked, they don’t just give these awards out for the fun of it.  You actually have to have a documented history of helping minorities.  

Mr. Sterling has a 10 year history as a prominent donor to the NAACP.  Cash, tickets, etc all have been given from him.  

How many KKK members have those awards?  Perhaps this is just an old confused man??  

4.  Have you listened to the tape unedited?

I will keep saying… he is wrong.

That said, when you listen to the tape, he says “I love minorities!”

To me, in between the racist views… it appears that he is more concerned with her being seen with Magic and others because it is his girlfriend/mistress, and not just about the color of the peoples skin.

He mentions that he is ok with her doing whatever she wants with them, including having sex… just so long as his girlfriend doesn’t post it on Instagram.

It sounds more like he is embarrassed that his girlfriend is posting pics of other men and his friends keep calling him about it.

She brings up Larry Bird, and asks if it would be ok to bring him.   Unfortunately there is no response there.  It would have been interesting to see his response.

5.  Why is the NBA fining him 2.5 Million bucks?

If the NBA wants to ban him, do it.  If they think he is horrible, say it!

But why are they fining him 2.5 million??

Because it is all about money to the NBA.

They were angry that they lost sponsorship money and they wanted to penalize him.  People have done far worse things in the NBA, and continue to be part of the league!

Ron Artest punches fans and goes into the stands… but is he kicked out?  Hmm… why not?  Oh, thats right, because it didn’t affect advertising dollars!!

Here is that video:

When a player goes into the stands and fights with the people PAYING to be there that provide the blanket of revenue the NBA sleeps under, there should be a ban, no?

Isn’t that just as bad of a role model?

Or is fighting and violence ok, but racism isn’t?  That seems kind of wacky, no?

6.  Doc Rivers isn’t white!!

Last I checked, the head coaching position of the Clippers is filled by a minority!!

Now, I might be a little slow… but isn’t that one of the most important jobs in a NBA franchise?

So this man, this racist, has given one of the most important jobs in his franchise to a minority?  Doesn’t that seem a little weird?

I mean, you have to trust and respect someone to give them the job over the many other WHITE qualified candidates, don’t you?

I didn’t bother to research this too much, but I’m pretty sure Rivers was also the HIGHEST PAID COACH in the NBA in 2012 at 7 million per year.  Not sure if he is still there or not.

While I think the NBA made the right decision banning him, I feel that the media is handling this all wrong.

The Clippers and their little protests… are a joke! If you don’t like your boss, quit!!  Go find work doing something else!

Why isn’t ESPN filling my tv screen with interviews of the peanut guys and ticket takers, and their horrible stories of how Mr. Sterling has been paying them so little, and making their lives so difficult?

Why are Jordan, Kareem, Shaq, Kevin Johnson, and all these others who aren’t involved given a platform to judge?  Shouldn’t someone be speaking about all the good things this jerk did for minorities?

Shouldn’t they also be asking themselves if they would be interviewed if they were white?  At what point is it ok to be used because of your race?

Final Question:

Even if he is an old racist bastard… which would you rather have in your community:

  • An old racist quack who gives tons of money to support minorities and never publicly displays his racism
  • Average Joe who loves people of all colors but never pulls his green out of his wallet to support them

I personally think that kids on welfare in the inner cities would happily swallow their pride to receive his donations.. and they should.  It appears the NAACP agrees, as they are very familiar with his history with discrimination concerns.

I hope you have enjoyed the opposing view here… let me know your feedback in the comments

 

 

Niche Site U Episode #16: 10 Secrets For Increasing Engagement On Your Niche Site

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The Niche Site U Podcast

Today I want to talk to everybody about the importance of your niche websites blog and 10 secrets you can use for increase engagement of that blog by over 300%.  More engagement leads to more customers and more traffic.

Let’s be quite honest to start with,  the blog on your niche site probably stinks. Your blog probably stinks because you don’t have time to do it right.  I hate to be brutally honest like that but let’s be realistic, most niche sites do stink.

The good news is, yours won’t after you implement these 10 secrets!

1.  Use shorter sentences and shorter paragraphs.

The first secret is to use shorter paragraphs.  Unfortunately most people think that it’s important to use long long paragraphs and that it will keep people stuck on the page, but the reality is, your paragraphs should be short and should only be anywhere from 1 to 5 sentences.

short-sentences

 

 

Spacing out your paragraphs into small chunks also makes it easier for your readers to view.  Don’t overwhelm people with too much text or they will leave your site within the first 5 seconds.

 

2.  Make sure you link to your own content.

The second secret is using an internal linking structure.  Not only is this really  important for SEO purposes to link to old posts and other pages but it’s also a great way to keep people on your website by having them click on your other articles.

Internal-linking-example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is also helpful to link to related blog posts using good quality anchor text that’s relevant to that blog post.  This will help to keep people engaged for example when you talk about web hosting like I just did, you want to link to a search engine optimization page.

That’s a great example of using internal linking.  You can also take it a step further by adding a related posts link either in the middle of your post or at the end of your post to keep people reading.

3.  Speed up your website.

The next secret that you want to implement is minimizing page load speed. I experience this issue all the time.  When I visit a website and it takes about 20 seconds just to load, I quickly decide that the page isn’t worth viewing.   If it’s going to take 20 seconds just to load a page, you certainly won’t click any deeper into that site.

Now Google looks at page load speed and decides how you’re going to rank.  Google loves fast loading pages because it will affect your bounce rate. (How often people leave your site without going deeper)

I believe your website should take 1 to 2 seconds to load, and to put that that into perspective, Google.com takes 816 milliseconds to load, which is less than one second.

speed-test

 

 

 

 

 

A good free tool to use to measure your page load speed is pingdom.com which is a website speed testing page.

You can use browser caching plugins to reduce load.  If you’re ready to commit some cash into reducing your page load speed, then you can also consider using a content delivery network or CDN.

A CDN duplicates your website content across a number of different servers world wide.  It then serves your visitors the content from whichever server is closest to their location.  The increased productivity actually reduces page load time.

4.  Converse with your audience, don’t just speak to them.

The next important secret is to use a writing style appropriate to your audience.  I just can’t stress enough how important it is to use a writing style that your audience is going to understand.  When writing for the web, there are basically two types of writing styles.

The first is friendly, warm, down to earth, conversational tone which is what I’ve tried to write with and the other is a more professional, more formal tone.  More formal which would be when writing for doctors and lawyers, but not their clients.

Nearly all blogs are going to want to use the down to earth style.  It’s a perfect fit for information oriented blogs, personal blogs, and just about everything in between.   That’s the best part about this style, the conversational tone it takes on will encourage more engagement.

Use personal pronouns, short sentences, and sentence fragments when appropriate.   The formal tone for serious writing will be void of jokes, have longer sentences, bigger words and will be more likely lose the audience quicker.

5.  Make your site clean.

The next secret is to avoid a busy look on your website.  Busy websites are really bad.  If your website is jammed with 36 sidebar widgets and has about 135 different plug-ins or has a hideous theme, it could be disastrous for your blog.

busy-site-bad

 

 

 

 

 

 

You should be using no more than one font throughout all your text on your site.  Don’t go overboard with widgets either.  I personally recommend having a subscription form on your website and some social sharing buttons, but not much else.

You should really try to avoid images in the sidebar whenever possible.  They can really distract readers from what they should be doing, which is reading your content.

6.  Grow your list!

This is no secret to many, but it is critical. You should have a subscription form at the end of every post.  This is a perfect way to recycle your traffic and keep it coming back.  When you email your list about new updates, they are much more likely to come to your site than just returning for no reason.

grow-your-list

Growing your email list is the next step towards growing your revenue!  All you need to do is insert form code at the end of every post with a clear a call to action to get your visitors to subscribe. A good idea to have a free subscriber-only report, video or something of value for signing up.  Don’t have an email list yet, check my resources page.

7.  Integrate “related” content into your posts.

The seventh secret to building engagement is displaying related content at the end of every post.  This ties in with the 2nd secret about internal linking structure that I mentioned earlier.   This can posted automatically using a plugin.  YAARP is a great plugin for this… it displays related posts and pages and you can see either a thumbnail or text.

Here are a few more articles you might enjoy.

You see what I did there? 🙂

8.  Social Sharing

Ok, so this isn’t much of a secret either, but you need to get social.  This is pretty obvious, it’s very important especially after all the recent Google updates about social marketing integration.  When the Google spiders crawl through your website they look for social signals that indicate your site is popular.

If they see social signals, they will reward you with higher rankings. There’s no easier way to get content shared then to have a social sharingplugin on your site.   My favorite is AddThis and I like to use it on the majority of my websites.

It takes no more than a minute to set it up.   It looks great and its used by quite a few popular blogs.  It’s also a floating plugin which means that as you scroll down the page,  it will allow you to keep the social share buttons in front of your readers.

Another important thing to consider is updating and maintaining your social profiles for your business.  I’m going to suggest you focus on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to start with.

9.  Clear Navigation

Having clear navigation menus is critical.  A navigation menu is the bar across the top of the website that displays the important pages, categories and links for your website.   Make sure that you use appropriate  sub pages when necessary.   Avoid creating menus with too many different items.

10.  Color schemes.

Be sure to choose a color scheme that doesn’t reek havoc on the readers eyes.

Black on white is what human eyes are used to and you don’t want to mess up with routine.

Summary

1.  Short paragraphs that are three to five sentences max.

2. Use an internal linking structure that includes relevant blog posts and anchor text.

3.  Speed up your page loading time.

4. Use a writing style appropriate to your audience.

5.  Use a clean site.  Busy sites cause people to leave.

6.  Have an opt in form at the end of every post to grow your email list.

7.  Show related articles at the end of each post.

8.  Use a social sharing plugin and maintain dedicated social profiles for your website.

9.  Use clear navigation.

10.  Using appropriate color scheme that displays black text on a white background.

11.  Bonus Tip – Thanks for reading all the way down.  Use lots of pictures and videos.  This alone can increase engagement significantly.

Niche Site U Episode #14: Interview With John Scherer

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The Niche Site U Podcast

John SchererIn this episode of the Niche Sites U Podcast, I interview John Scherer who gained national fame with his Video Professor Series.

Among other things, we discuss his newest projects, Products In The News and O2 Hurricane.

John and I speak for under an hour about how he chose his niche, how he grew it to be a huge revenue producer, and how he effectively marketed his products.

Towards the end, John has a special offer for the listeners.

 

 

How To Create Headlines For Your Website That Drive More Traffic

The one question that most clients ask me is “How do I get more traffic to my website?”

Well, the answer is almost always the same.  You don’t know already??

Shocked-face

Seriously though, you can either pay for it with advertising “push marketing”, or you can create amazing content that brings prospects to your site for free! (pull marketing)

One of the most important things you can do to get more traffic is get a prospects attention.  To do this, you have to stand out from the crowd and you have to be talking about things that are important to your prospects.

How To Create Amazing Headlines That Pull In Traffic

You probably don’t realize this, but I already told you the answer.  The most popular type of headline that people click on to find out more information is the “how to” headline.  Here is an example from this website, where I explain how to make $200/month using outsourced content writers.

Whether it is to be better looking, lose weight, make more money, persuade people, get more dates, etc. everyone is looking to find out how to do things.  Google is asked millions of questions on a daily basis about how to do this, how to find that, how to fix those.  All you have to do is provide the answers.

Is that it? Is it really that simple?  Yes and no.

Yes it is that simple because all you have to do is start your headline with whatever your topic was going to be about.  No, it doesn’t just end there.  You have to write content that actually interests people.   The good news is, the things you write about “should” interest people as long as you are talking about the business you are in, and if you are trying to help people solve their problems.

4 Proven Headline Types That Work

There are 4 simple and proven headline types that will always increase the amount of clicks your content will get, and thus drive more prospects to your door.

[sociallocker]

  1. How To headlines – I already gave you this one, and this is by far the most successful for most of our clients.  Again, people want to be healthy, wealthy, and wise, and if you can tell them how to do that… they will follow you to the moon.
  2. List headlines – yes, you may have noticed that I used that above (4 proven…).  Trust me, it works.  People love lists.  Whether it is a small list with just 3-4 items, or if it is a monster list with 501 ways to do something, people will read it.  People may not read every single item on the list, but they will certainly browse through it.
  3. Best and worst headlines –  You see them all over the place.  This can go a few directions.  It can be a positive piece of content, one that mentions all the best items/features/etc. or it can be a negative piece that is critical or picky.  You can also do a blend of the two, but our research actually finds that if you are negative, and talk about the worst of something, you will get more readers.  Sad but true, and perhaps that is just the human condition.  Warning: Do not write too much content in a negative light.  It is bad for you to think that way, but more importantly, you don’t want to be an eeyore all the time.
  4. Secret headlines – Everyone wants to be on the inside of a secret.  The funny thing is, it is never a secret once it is shared… but people still love them anyway.  You don’t actually have to have a secret.  It can be something glaringly obvious to people, but if you point it out and call it a secret, people take notice.

[/sociallocker]

Not sure if I’m telling the truth?  Check out any Cosmo Cover and see for yourself.  You will see all 4 of these used quite often in most of the magazines you find by your supermarket checkout stand.  Why are they used? Because they work!

The Secret To Finding What People Search For

Red Question Mark

I told you already that you need to write content that actually interests people.  It’s true, and it isn’t as difficult as you think.  Most people avoid sitting down and writing out articles because they are afraid that they don’t have anything important to write about.

Fortunately, you can figure out very easily what is important to people… and there are a number of ways to do it.

My favorite way to find out what to write about or to figure out what websites/products/services to build are by simply asking people.  If you are building a website, you have a target audience in mind.  Well, find people that are in that target and ask them what they want in a website.  What topics interest them.  What do they hate about the websites that are out there now.  What would they like to see changed in their industry.

If you ask the right questions, you will be surprised at how many great ideas there are out there just waiting to be put into reality.  The same goes for products or services.  If you are in a business that deals with clients and/or prospects (which is everyone!!) then you have a great resource at your fingertips.  Ask your clients what they want and they will often tell you.

Another great way to find out what people are interested in right now is to just check google.  Google has a number of ways to find out whats hot, what people search for, and what people like.  3 items that I love to use are Google Autocomplete, Google Trends, and Google Zeitgeist.

Using those 3 will give you unlimited ways to find out what people are interested in.

Putting it all together

Now that you know the secret to finding what people are searching for, and how to create amazing headlines that are guaranteed to pull in more traffic, you just need to pull it all together.  First, you need to figure out who your target audience is.  The next step, is to find out what interests them.  Finally, create a headline that uses the topic of interest and customize a headline using one of the 4 headline types to grab their attention.

Of course, none of this works without marketing.  You need to make sure your content is in front of people.

The best way to do that is to share it via social media or email.  IF you like what you read, please like it, tweet about it, or +1 it… or simply email a friend a link to this article so they can benefit from it too.

Final Step

Now I have a question for you.  Do you have a headline type you like most?  Let me know in the comments below.

Niche Website Round Up – November 2013

Hey nichers,

I have some things in the works right now, but wanted to share with you some articles that I think are worthwhile to read regarding niche websites.  Some of the most important things you can learn sometimes come from articles and posts that are not necessarily niche site related.  In the below posts, you will find some that are specific to niche sites, and some that are just web design or business related posts.  Hope you enjoy.

On a personal note… tonight is the final game of my son’s Pop Warner football season.  I coach the 90 pound team, and we had a great year.  The funny thing about these weights, is you have to be 9 years old or younger to play at this weight.  So the majority of my kids are 60-70 pounders, and my son is 65 pounds.  Surprisingly, we went 8-2 this year and really kicked some butt.  We play in a bowl game tonight against another 8-2 team, so it should be fun doing the Friday night lights thing!

The reason I mention that is two-fold.  First, I want to try to share more of my personal experiences in life and how they impact my niche sites here.  Also, not having practice 3 nights a week and 2 hours per practice is going to give me more free time to focus on my businesses, my niche sites, and of course this site and the podcast that goes with it.

 

The Round Up:

 

How To Rank Niche Sites

 

 

The first post I want to share with you is a decent “how to rank niche sites” article by Spencer Mitchell for setting up niche websites.  The reason I want you to read it is because it gives a different perspective on the process, and mentions some things I don’t necessarily agree with.  If you are asking why I want you to read things I don’t agree with?? The simple answer is that you should always look at both sides of a situation before deciding for yourself what the best path is.  This is a little older, but the information in the post is still very relevant.

Check Out Spencer’s post here.

 

Write Persuasive Content

 

 

The next post I want to share with you is focused on writing persuasive website content by Henneke Duistermaat.  The article is a look at 7 lessons that a website builder can learn by following Apple’s practices.  There are some really important points in the article.  The first, which I love, is to write for scanners.  Now this doesn’t always apply, as some sites (like this one) are meant to have someone actually read the page content… not deliver you to another destination after briefly scanning through the content.  This is really applicable to niche websites because your goal of a niche site is to convert.  Convert to adsense, convert to affiliate ads, convert to mailing list, etc.

Check Out Henneke’s post here.

 

Stop Trying To Make Money And Do It!

 

 

This is an interesting post by Darek Kargul for nichers that have tried but failed to have success building up their niche site network.  The best part of this post is his discussion about how to analyze the results you are getting.  Building a niche website is not a set it and forget it project.  If you really want to make money, you need to analyze the traffic that is coming into your website, figure out what is driving it, where it is going on your site, and why it is leaving.  He goes into detail about 15 of the many data points that you can track.  Darek also provides a couple traffic generation ideas from social…and buying traffic.  Worth a read.

Check Out Darek’s post here.

 

Tips For Starting A Lifestyle Business

 

Most of you have read the 4 hour workweek.  If you haven’t, stop reading this post and go read it now.  I mean it, go!!  Tim’s book planted many seeds about how to take mini retirements now by creating a lifestyle business that allows you to travel the world (or do whatever you feel like) while still making money. Rasmus Lindgren wrote an interesting piece that provides 10 specific tips for starting and managing that lifestyle business.  I’m on the fence about his first tip, which is copy what is working.  I think this is a good tactic if you have absolutely no idea what to do with yourself… but if you are always copying others, you are never able to distinguish yourself.  This is actually a lesson I tried to convey to my 9 year old son.  Most of us grow up copying others, trying to look cool, be cool, act cool, while deep inside you were full of insecurity about what people would think about you if you didn’t do everything your group did.  Peer pressure is a nightmare, and it really doesn’t help anyone!!  Look at the innovators in this world… very few just copied what is working.  They had to be different in order to lead the pack, or just left the pack entirely to follow their own dreams.  Aside from that, it is a post I have gone back to and reread a few times because it is full of great content.

Check out Rasmus’ post here.

 

How To Promote Your Blog Posts

Marketing TechBlog

 

 

Unfortunately, this is sitting in my “to-do” bin, but I still wanted to share it with you.  Douglas Karr put together an infographic about 12 things you must do “after” you’ve written a blog post.  It is a good looking infographic, but most importantly, it covers the basic points of what you need to do.  Many of us (myself being one of the worst offenders) tend to focus on creating the content itself, but never do much after the post is created.  The concept of content marketing requires two parts.  The first, and what I think is actually the hardest part is creating the content.  The easiest part is the marketing of that content.  Pushing it out to others and creating a buzz about it.  Very few of us do this, and even fewer do it the right way. Douglas lays it all out in an easy to read and follow infographic.

Check out Douglas’ post here.

 

Got a post you think others should be reading?  Let us know in the comments or shoot me an email.

How I Make $200/Month Using Outsourced Content Writers

First off, I know $200 is a very small amount of money, but the example is from just one of my niche sites that is pretty much on complete autopilot.  Also, I am writing this for people that either have been afraid of stepping up and creating niche sites, or that have but haven’t made any money yet.

I know the buzzword of the day is content.  Content is king, but most of us tend to spew it out like it was written by a court jester.  The goal of content is to make your site more engaging and interactive… so you can make money from it!  But if you stink at writing, how can you get enough traffic to the site to make $200/month or more?

Niche website builders run into this issue all the time.  At least I do.   My writing stinks.  My interest level in some of the niches I build is zero.  Do you really feel like writing a 2 thousand word post about electric shavers? (Jason Hill does, but Im sure most people aren’t interested in writing about it!)

So what do you do then?  The answer is OUTSOURCE it.

One of my niche sites is about Family Picture Ideas.  The site isn’t ranked #1 on Google anymore(Damn you Penguin 2.1), and isn’t even on page #1, but I still manage to make about $200 per month from it. In October, I made $202.07.  See below (please note I cut out other sites ‘that made more and less than this site‘ from this list and I scratched out metrics other than earnings, otherwise no photoshopping is involved)

Adsense October 2013

I know, I can read your thoughts.  Outsourcing is going to get me an article with horrible english and will look like it was written by a 2nd grader.  Sometimes, yes!  If you just go onto fiverr and don’t get specific about what you need, then yes, that is absolutely the case!  But as you can see from my site, the content is decent enough to drive traffic.

To help make sure you get the right kind of content, I put together a short list of things you should do to make sure you get quality in return for your investment dollars.

Be Specific.

Always try to include “special instructions” to the writers when you submit your projects. Don’t just tell someone that you want an article written about Niche Site X.  Tell them what keywords to focus on, what type of quality you expect and what perspective it should be written from.  The more detailed instructions you include, the greater chance you’ll get exactly what you want, the first time.

Timing is Everything With Writers.

Monday’s are typically the best day to submit article requests to content writers, as that is when the writer’s project queue is at its lowest during the week.  If you want, you can also send in your requests during the weekend.  The lower the queue, the faster writers will write your articles.  If you are looking for a quick turnaround, it’s best to not submit your requests mid week when the rest of the working world does it.

Find a Favorite Writer.

Most content writing companies have a large network of writers at their disposal.  Often times, you will have a specific writer assigned to your project, and the company will share that persons name or assign some sort of code for the writer.  This will allow you to go back to that same author for future projects if needed.  The benefit here is that the writer will become more familiar with what your expectations are, and even more importantly, they will be familiar with your content already.  This will keep the articles from being superficial pieces every time.  After a while, you may find that you have built your own network of quality writers.

You Get What You Pay For.

It’s great to be able to say that you only pay three dollars for a five hundred word article.  But if it looks like the article was written by someone from Indonesia, then it really isn’t worth the three bucks even.  The best way to work with content writers is to look for someone that will cut you a deal for the first few articles, with the understanding that future articles will cost more.  For instance, find a writer that will charge you $10-15 per 500 words if you are looking for decent quality, but tell them the first 2 articles need to be written for $5 each so you can evaluate their quality.  Show the person your website and let them know you are looking for a long term writer.  If the writer is decent, they will go for it because they see the value in more consistent work.

To Err is Human.

I’m not talking about letting your writers off for poor work… though you should be fair and considerate when dealing with them.  What I am talking about is the fact that people make mistakes all the time when typing things into the search engines… and sometimes you can find you have a better ranking position if you use the misspelled words in your article.  I try to avoid doing this too much because my OCD kicks into high gear when I see stuff like this, but it actually can work.   So if you happen to be writing an article about electric shavers, electic shavers, and electric shavrs, you may find that you get more traffic than you would if you spelled it right.  This is also a good method for use when building content for web 2.0 properties where it might not be as important.

Avoid Article Spinning.

If you want to put content out there and you really don’t care how good the content or english is… rather than spinning articles I would suggest you just have the article rewritten a few times.  You can find very affordable writers out there that will write a 500 word article for $2, so why not use them?  Google has gotten tougher on sites that have awful content (spun articles) and you should avoid them.

Be Prepared To Invest.

If you are really looking to $200/month from a niche site, then you need to be prepared to invest.   I set a goal of $500/month for every website I build… so why should I only be willing to spend $50 on the creation of the site and its content?  The answer is I shouldn’t!!

Anyone investing money offline would be thrilled with a 10% return usually, but when it comes to the web people expect returns that are a minimum of 500%.  Why?  Be realistic with the business/niche site/project you are building and shoot for a 100% max return.  If you invest $100 a month and get $200 back, you are doing it right!!  For $100, you can get 10 articles written per month for $10 each.  The truth is, for this site, I don’t invest in 10 articles per month because I prefer to squeeze out as much profit as possible.

One last thing, be patient and be prepared to work hard!  Don’t expect to make $200 from your one hundred dollar investment the first month.  Stocks rarely double within a month, so again, don’t expect those kinds of returns.  If you can be breaking even after 90 days, you should be in the black in no time and ready to move onto another project with this one basically on auto pilot.

Am I missing anything? What have you found works best with content writers?  Tell me in the comments.

Monitor Backlinks Review – Advanced Backlink Checker Tool

Make sure you read all the way through, I provide a secret tip for Google+ Users at the end.

I recently found this site, and signed up, so I figured I would give everyone a review of monitorbacklinks.com.

I have also been working with Razvan, the CEO, and he has offered to provide a coupon code to use and upgrade to a premium plan, that will get 3 months of a premium plan for the price of one.  Use this Link and Enter This Code: OFF50NHT6JABM for discount!

Here is a brief intro video before you read my review:

One of the things that is necessary to market any business online, is to monitor backlinks.  Backlinks are an essential part of search engine optimization, and having many links that point back to your site is an important part of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for your niche site business.

Knowing when and how these links change, can allow you to make important business decisions related to your SEO strategy.  The problem is, that these links are not all equal in value, and they can change every single day.  It can be a very time-consuming task to monitor and build those links, as well as understand how important each one of them is. While the process of keeping track of your links is not new, there are new tools that will allow you to simplify the process.

So, I found a company called Monitor Backlinks that has an excellent service to help you with this part of your SEO strategy.  Monitor Backlinks can help automate this process for you. They have a number of plans available to help manage your domains, and backlink profiles. They help startups, SEO consultants, agencies and small to medium businesses, and of course… niche website builders.

Monitor Backlinks allows you to get started for FREE!, for 30 days.  They have three plans that range from $19.90 to $99.90 per month after that.  All their plans include a number of time-saving services.

The first benefit is that you don’t have to go through a long verification process for your domain.  When you first sign up, you just add your domain, as well as some competitors if you choose, and they get started monitoring your backlinks right away.  This avoids any delay they may find with other providers.

Monitor Backlinks will also provide reports, that they send directly to your email address.  Many times for other services you have to go to the provider’s website, which can be cumbersome and time consuming.  They make this simple and easy by sending email reports directly to your inbox, which I love.  This  allows you to make sure that the results are brought to your attention, and  won’t simply go unreviewed.

As you may know, not all backlinks are created equally as Penguin 2.1 proved.  Each link, can have a different value assigned to it based on a number of metrics.  Monitor Backlinks will provide you with a number of metrics so you can clearly understand which SEO links, are the most important to your business. This can save a lot of time and money, by having all the important information about the quality of your links in one place.

Now, having all of these metrics in one place is helpful, but Monitor Backlinks also allows you to filter these results. You can manipulate the results in various ways, so that you can clearly visualize what to do next. You can add tags, arrange by statistics, and filter by certain metrics.  This is a vitally important aspect of what Monitor Backlinks can do for you. While it is helpful to have all the information in one place, the ability to arrange it in a way that allows you to take action, and further improve your SEO,  is arguably more important.  Monitor Backlinks does a great job of allowing you to do that.

All the plans also include the ability to export the links via PDF or Excel reports. This is helpful for your records,  and also gives you the ability to send these reports to your clients.

Adding additional links is easy, and you are able to do this both from your browser or their bookmarklet.

Add Links - Monitor Bookmarks

As mentioned before, Monitor Backlinks offers three separate plans, depending on your needs.  These can be paid monthly, or annually if you would like to save 20%.   All plans come with a 30 day free trial, which does not require a credit card!!

Here’s an overview of the three plans monitor backlink offers:

All plans include

Start:

This plan starts at $19.90 per month, and is geared towards startups or freelancers.

It allows you to monitor two domains.   They will check these domains daily so that you are aware of any new links to your website.  In the Start plan, they will monitor 50 keywords, and up to 500 links. It will also monitor two of your competitors domains. The start plan also will monitor of the 500 of your top competitors links as well

Plus:

This plan starts at $49.90 per month and is geared towards SEO consultants and other small businesses.  The Plus plan will allow you to monitor five domains, so that you know of new backlinks on a daily basis.  This plan also includes up to 200 keywords and 5000 links. It will allow you to track for competitors domains, and up to 1000 competitors links.

Professional:

The professional plan starts at $99.90 per month. Is geared towards agencies and medium-sized businesses. As with the other plans it does come with the 30 day free trial with no credit card required.  It will allow you to monitor 10 domains on a daily basis, so you are aware of new links. You can monitor 500 keywords and up to 15,000 links.  Four competitor domains are able to be tracked, as well as 1500 of the top competitors links.

So, as you can see, there are a number of plans to fit a wide variety of needs. Whether you need to monitor your own websites SEO and backlinks, or a large number of clients websites (for you SEOs out there), there is a plan to fit your needs.  They state that technical knowledge is not necessary for you to use Monitor Backlinks, and it does not affect your server or computers processing power, and I would agree with that statement… but to be fair, I feel I am a bit more techy than most.

Use this Link and Enter This Code:  OFF50NHT6JABM for discount!

 

Free Backlink Checker SEO Tool

Free Backlink Checker Tool

Why Use Monitor Backlinks?

Here are 3 of the many good reasons to use them.

First, if someone mentions you in their blog, does a review of a product, service, or niche site you produced.  They check every day for new links pointing to your website and let you know as soon as that happens.  They will send you an e-mail with a link to that article so you can thank the blogger for the review or ask for feedback from his/her readers.

Second, you can monitor links that you have worked hard for, rented or purchased.  Your marketing efforts are never easy, and most likely not what you would consider free.  If you are like me, you spend a lot of time, energy and perhaps money to get traffic from really good sites that cover your niche, or to convince the “linkerati” (yes, Brian Dean… now I am saying it” to link to your website, or a from a guest post.  Well what happens if one of these sites you pour money into removes your valuable link after just a short period of time?  If you purchased or rented the link, then that would be awful and needs to be addressed.  Monitor Backlinks will let you know almost instantly!  In this way, you are always aware of what is happening with your brand outside your website and the community will surely appreciate your involvement.

Finally, you can be a ninja and track your competition using this tool.  You most likely don’t have the same size budget as some of the big players in your industry.  Your competitors are constantly spending valuable time and resources to find new websites that will link to them.  Using this tool will allow you to monitor their activity and send you an e-mail every time they get new backlinks. You can follow their footsteps and keep up!  This is simply setup with and “auto-discover” tool that they have.

Overall, Monitor Backlinks could be a valuable tool to add to your SEO toolbox. It can save time and money, and has some excellent reviews (aside from this one of course). It allows you to avoid the process of manually monitoring your backlinks, and keeps you up-to-date daily.  To get started with their 30 day free trial you can easily register, add your domain, and begin right away by visiting their website.

Cool tip from CEO of Monitor Backlinks:

Below you can view a 10 minute screencast video that describes how you can get a good link from your Google Plus profile and how to avoid making Google ignore that link (making it nofollow).  His accent may be difficult for you to understand… I had to watch it 2x.

Google Adsense Certified??

Google AdSense Certified Partner logo

Are You Certified?

Google just introduced a new partner program that allows individuals and businesses to become Google Adsense Certified by taking an exam and meeting certain qualifications (below).  What I want to know is… what side of the schizophrenic bed that Google sleeps in is this coming from.

Google is constantly tweaking their algorithm in an effort to keep made for adsense websites away from the search results, and rewarding big brands with premium postions.  Now I ask you Big G, how many of those big brands are monetizing their websites with adsense???

Very few!

In reality, most of the big brands that are given top spots are using some form of impression based ad platform because they focus on getting traffic to their websites but don’t expect people to actually click on ads and leave.

This is why we have seen new forms of ads like the “site takeover” that has become quite common, where an advertisement dominates almost every area of a website… in order to get eyeballs on it.  Obviously, this wouldn’t be necessary if people were clicking on the 460×80 adsense ads that google came up with.

So my question is, why have businesses become certified to teach people how to make more money using adsense, when often times sites get punished for having too many ads, or ads in positions that google frowns upon?  Just confusing… but hey, I just build niche sites.

If you are interested in becoming Google Adsense Certified, you can read more about the requirements below:

Certified Partners Program requirements

Partners who agree to the Google AdSense Online Certified Partner Program Terms and Conditions are required to adhere to the following policies, so please read them carefully. If you fail to comply with these policies, we may revoke your Certified Partner status. Because we may change our policies from time to time, please check here often for updates. In accordance with the Google AdSense Online Certified Partner Program Terms and Conditions, it’s your responsibility to keep up to date with, and adhere to, the policies posted here.

AdSense expertise and tool usage

  • Partners need to have an AdSense account and prove their AdSense product knowledge in an examination (learning material will be provided).
  • Partners need to provide a real-life AdSense case study or an AdSense acquisition proposal to showcase their proficiency. The Google AdSense team will provide a template for that purpose.
  • Partners must use the AdSense account management platform provided by the Google AdSense team to manage clients.
  • In some cases partners may not be able to use our account management platform with a particular AdSense client. Google expects full transparency about a partner’s interaction with the AdSense publisher in such a case.
  • Partners should be managing all ad units of a client’s AdSense account.

Business requirements

  • Partners must represent a business and be legally incorporated to do business in their locality.
  • Partners must acquire AdSense publishers and deliver high-touch AdSense optimization service for their clients.
  • Partners must provide a business plan on acquisition and optimization of AdSense publishers which will serve as a performance indicator. The Google AdSense team will provide a template for this purpose.
  • Partners need an existing client base and/or a strategy on how to ramp up and grow their AdSense client base.
  • Partners need a sales force that is able to acquire and optimize Google AdSense publishers.

Quality standards

  • Partners must make sure that all their sales representatives who work on AdSense clients are Google AdSense certified.
  • Partners need to provide quarterly reports about their performance, including acquisitions and outreach activity, number and impact of AdSense optimizations and a business plan for subsequent quarters. The Google AdSense team will provide a template for that purpose.
  • Partners must clearly differentiate their AdSense services from other services that they may provide and only use the AdSense Certified Partner badge on materials related to AdSense services.
  • Partners must collaborate with the Google AdSense Certified Partner Team and are in fair competition with other Google AdSense Certified Partners in their market.

More details here:

Niche Site U Episode #13: Listener Questions

Listen in iTunes

The Niche Site U Podcast

Hope you enjoy!